Blue Dot Trail, Appalachian Trail, Iris Trail Loop From Sawmill Lake

MODERATE 7 reviews
#5 of 12 trails in

Blue Dot Trail, Appalachian Trail, Iris Trail Loop From Sawmill Lake is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Montague, New Jersey that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.5 miles
1,082 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips





wild flowers

This is a hike from Sawmill Lake Campground. The Blue Dot Trail starts at the campsite. If you are not staying at the campground there is a 2-car parking pullout at the trailhead but you should check at the park office if not. Once close to the top you will get a nice westward view overlooking Sawmill Lake. The Blue Dot trail ends at Appalachian Trail which traverses a mountain ridge while going south. You get some nice views to both West & East, at one point nicely overlooking Lake Rutherford. There is a not-too-long side trail to Rutherford Shelter marked with blue blazes.  You then return to the AT and follow it to intersection with Iris Trail which is marked with red dot blazes. While following Iris Trail you come close to Lake Rutherford where the trail turns sharply left while a woods road going straight enters a private off-limits area at the lake. There are bears in this area so please be careful. If you are into geocaching there a number of caches that are up for grabs not too far off the trail along the loop. Iris trail itself is a rather easy walk all the way almost to the park office. Before you reach the end of Iris trail there is a short blue trail on the right that will take you to parking area that is accessible from Rt 23. Iris trail ends at intersection with AT and it was a quick hike back to Blue Dot Trail and back to the campsite. You can also shorten the hike a bit if you don't visit Rutherford Shelter.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blue dot was a fun climb and decent. The AT and Iris were mainly plain sailing. All three trails were very rocky, however, so prepare to have your feet and ankles banged up a little. But it's worth it for some beautiful vistas.

3 months ago

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday, June 01, 2014